11 Refreshing Cocktail (& Mocktail!) Recipes Perfect for Summer
June 30, 2020

11 Refreshing Cocktail (& Mocktail!) Recipes Perfect for Summer

It’s summertime, and the living is easy! Whether you spend your summer days lounging in the backyard or floating in the pool, now is the time to take in the abundant sunshine and toasty temps. But in the Sacramento area, sometimes those temps are a bit too toasty. Taking a dip or retreating to the comfort of the air conditioning is nice, but there’s nothing better than cooling off with a refreshing cocktail. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best cocktail recipes for summer. Whether you’re into vodka, rum or whiskey, we’ve got a cocktail recipe for you. Oh, and if booze isn’t your thing, we’ve thrown in a few mocktail recipes too! Cheers!


Skinny Blackberry Margarita

Photo courtesy Well Plated

A margarita made from all-natural ingredients? Yes, please! Rather than corn syrup-laden mixer, this recipe from Well Plated uses real blackberries, fresh-squeezed orange and lime juice and agave syrup. Add silver tequila and you’ve got a healthier alternative to the classic Mexican cocktail!


Fresh Peach Bourbon Sour

Photo courtesy Garlic and Zest

What says summer more than a sweet, juicy peach? Well, maybe this summery peach bourbon sour by Garlic and Zest. An easy homemade peach simple syrup is paired with bourbon and bitters for the ultimate sweet-and-sour cocktail.


Frozen Watermelon Mojitos

Photo courtesy Smitten Kitchen

Watermelon is another summer staple, and as delicious as a fresh slice is, it’s even better when frozen and mixed with booze. This cooling cocktail from Smitten Kitchen blends frozen watermelon chunks with lime, mint, sugar and rum for a twist on the traditional Cuban highball.


Orange Ginger Spritzer

Photo courtesy The Lemon Bowl

You don’t need alcohol to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage. This booze-free bevvy courtesy The Lemon Bowl tastes just like the real thing, without the nasty hangover. It combines ginger simple syrup, fresh squeezed orange juice and club soda for the ultimate summer drink with a little kick. And, if you prefer a little buzz, you can always replace the club soda with prosecco.


Cherry Lime Gin and Tonic

Photo courtesy How Sweet Eats

Cherry and lime go together like, well, gin and tonic. Mix the foursome together and you get a tasty warm-weather cocktail, courtesy How Sweet Eats. The classic G&T is updated with bing cherries and fresh-squeezed lime juice for a thirst-quenching cocktail with minimal effort!


Blackberry Hibiscus Spritzer with Tarragon

Photo courtesy Snixy Kitchen

Fruity, flowery and herby — this summer mocktail from Snixy Kitchen balances all three with deliciousness! Fresh blackberries are mixed with chilled hibiscus tea and brightened with a subtle tarragon simple syrup and sparkling water for a refreshing summer beverage minus the alcohol.


Whiskey Dreamsicle Cocktail

Photo courtesy Sugar and Cloth

This summery cocktail from Sugar and Cloth not only looks beautiful, it tastes amazing and is easy as pie to make. Just blend orange soda with vanilla whiskey for the classic dreamsicle flavors with an added kick. Add edible flowers on top to up your summer cocktail game.


Brazilian Caipiroska

Photo courtesy OMG Food

This sweet and limey drink courtesy of OMG Food is similar to the better-known caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail), but instead of the traditional Brazilian spirit cachaça, it uses vodka. Muddling the lime and sugar together creates a balanced sweet-and-sour mixture that makes an idea summer treat when paired with vodka and poured over ice.


Meyer Lemon and Thyme Bee’s Knees

Photo courtesy Spoon Fork Bacon

Reminiscent of a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, this cocktail from Spoon Fork Bacon is a twist on the classic bee’s knees cocktail. Fresh Meyer lemon juice is shaken with honey syrup and gin, then stirred with a sprig of thyme for an added wow factor.


The Prickly Lady Cocktail

Photo courtesy Love and Olive Oil

Sweet and smoky, this bright pink cocktail from Love and Olive Oil looks girly, but it’s anything but. It uses fresh prickly pear juice (or store-bought prickly pear syrup), ginger liqueur, lime and smoky mezcal for the perfect balance of sugar-smoke-sour.


Dragon Berry Mojito

Photo courtesy Fashionable Foods

The mojito is a classic summer cocktail, combining rum, lime and mint. This cocktail from Fashionable Foods kicks it up a notch by adding sliced strawberries and using Bacardi Dragon Berry, which is a rum flavored with strawberry and dragonfruit. The combination tastes like summer in a glass!


Traditional White Sangria

Photo courtesy Minimalist Baker

This versatile, fruity, refreshing punch from Minimalist Baker is a nod to the typical red wine sangrias of Spain. It’s easy to make — just add apples, nectarines and strawberries (or whatever fruit you have on hand) to a dry, crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc, add sugar and apple brandy and let it meld for up to 48 hours. It can even be made non-alcoholic by skipping the wine and brandy and using white grape juice instead.

Category Home Inspiration

Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.